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KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Civilians and dependents who break the law know Lt. Col. Denis Delaney by his informal titles: judge, jury and executioner.

As deputy commander overseeing the Kadena Disciplinary Action Program, Delaney holds administrative hearings that decide the fates of everyone from kids throwing rocks to adults involved in beatings. And the punishments he metes out range from community service to being banned from base.

Those punishments tend to come quickly and severely, with assaults, death threats and drug dealing earning the worst sanctions, officials said. But in many cases, especially where children are involved, KDAP also works with violators and their families to prevent future crimes.

“We’re here to punish them but we’re also here to work with other agencies to make sure these people get help,” Delaney said.

KDAP director Paula Scroggins helps assign offenders to a variety of on-base programs, including substance abuse and family counseling. These services generally are available to SOFA status personnel but civilian offenders are required to show KDAP proof of attendance as part of their punishment, Scroggins said.

Misconduct off base guarantees a much stiffer punishment, Delaney said. For example, he said, Kadena children caught throwing rocks at a moving car on the Okinawa Toll Road earlier this month may earn a harsher punishment than for the same crime committed on base.

“Anything that happens off base is twice as bad,” Delaney said. “You don’t want to embarrass the United States, so you’re always held to a higher degree of respect.”

Civilians even may find themselves in “double jeopardy” because Japanese officials have the first right to punish off-base offenders, Delaney said. If the charges are less serious, Japanese authorities typically have SOFA civilians apologize several times to their victims, then turn them over to KDAP. However, it’s entirely up to the Japanese police, who can detain suspects for up to 20 days without a formal charge.

While KDAP bars few civilians from base completely, several get barred from exchange services, clubs and leisure activities for months at a time. Other have their banishment suspended pending community service, rehabilitation and other steps.

Of the five people banned from base last year, three were linked to the Marine Corps. While the Air Force will ban violators from bases, the Marines will take the punishment a step further and revoke civilian SOFA status, effectively forcing an offender to leave the island, Delaney said.

If a child is banned from base, then the parents bear the cost of moving off-base, Delaney said. When children become frequent visitors to KDAP, Delaney gets tough with the parents. He notifies the parents’ supervisor and can order 24-hour supervision. That means a parent must accompany the child everywhere, including attending the child’s classes.

“It makes life a whole lot harder” for parents, Delaney said. “Supervision is an essential step. KDAP is not a substitute for senior leadership, parental supervision and community involvement.”

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